For those of you who haven't heard of BitTorrent -- and a big hello to 99.99% of the population out there! -- it's a technology that allows you to download files, especially large files, a lot quicker than you might expect. In fact, it's specifically designed to make popular downloads, those that are usually the slowest, go the fastest. The more people interested in something, the better. It's a great design and its fundamental trick -- sharing the bandwidth load among everybody accessing a file -- is a wonderful idea.
Unfortunately, everything else about BitTorrent sucks. Hard. Enough to peel paint. Where to begin?
The Clients: To use BitTorrent, you need to install some software on your machine that knows how to read the protocol. There are a bunch of packages to choose from but which you pick is a moot point: they're universally awful. Confusing, amateurish, intimidating (and occasionally riddled with spyware), they all vomit up more information than anybody could possibly care about and manage to make it ugly in the process: rates, seeds, statuses, and a dozen other useless metrics, presented as abbreviations and lists that make little sense to the people who understand what's going on and even less to the uninitiated. It's interface design by stomach virus, brought to you by the minds who think that post-crash stack dumps are helpful. Even the effort to create a simple BitTorrent experience -- BattleTorrent -- is too complicated. "MiB?" What the hell is a "MiB"? "Seeds?" "Dn?"
What do people -- and by "people," I mean human beings, not geeks -- want to use BitTorrent for? To download public-domain video of congressional testimony from C-SPAN, of course. They utterly and completely do not care about what goes into accomplishing that. They want: a progress bar. Tell them how far along the download is. That's it. Nothing else. If you want to do it right, integrate BitTorrent into Mozilla and don't distinguish BT downloads from any other kind. Because, seriously, nobody cares. Astonishing thought here: Hide the complexity. Automatically seed any files you find in the default download folder. That's how Napster did it, and, hey, they had some success. You might have heard of them.
The Lingo: Related to the above, the BitTorrent developers -- geeks in general-- need to stop developing new terminology to describe new technology, or at least stop using it in polite company. The fact that using BitTorrent requires at least a passing familiarity with half a dozen new vocabulary words is ridiculous. Repeat after me: People want to "get" "music" and "videos" from "Web sites." That's it and that's all. They don't want to find trackers with seeds to torrents. I don't care how subtle the nuances of the technology are. I don't care how deeply flawed the existing metaphors would be. Cope. Leave the self-indulgent lingo in some wadded Kleenex in your bedroom and use the words that everybody already knows.
The Server: Setting up a BitTorrent server -- called (for no good reason; see above) a "tracker" -- is just slightly harder than removing your own kidneys. Maintaining one is the rough equivalent of then eating them. For people -- again: human beings, not geeks -- to care that BT exists, for them to bother installing the client, there have to be servers, and for there to be servers, the process of putting one together needs to be a couple order of magnitude simpler than it is now. If it can't be done in fifteen minutes by someone whose experience with the UNIX command line is the ability to copy commands out of the help file, then it simply won't be done. What's so magical about a BT tracker that it has to be so hard to get running? Other than the developers are smug, lazy elitists, I mean.
And seeding torrents to the tracker (see above, again) once it's running needs to be another couple of orders of magnitude simpler than that. Generating and posting torrents must be a single-step process -- wham, bam, thank you intellectual property industry -- done either via bookmarklet or Windows shell extension or whatever fringe weirdness you Mac people have. It needs to be as simple as hosting a file via FTP. If users can't right-click on some camcorder-shot copy of "I, Robot" and share it with the world, well then, what's the point of even having a camcorder-shot copy of "I, Robot"? No, seriously, what's the point? It was terrible.
The Reputation: BitTorrent's last, and biggest, problem is the company it keeps. And I'm not talking about the geeks -- though, really, you guys might want to consider cleaning out your braces every once in a while.
No, BitTorrent's most unsavory fans are the pirates. They love it. It's basically designed for them. Oh, yes, sure, the technology isn't to blame for how it's abused. That honor belongs to the community. For all the hoopla that goes into BitTorrent evangelism, it remains almost exclusively an obscure tool to steal high bandwidth media because nobody has ever bothered to give it a respectable, public face. The creator of BitTorrent owns bittorrent.com and hasn't put anything there. No new user instructions, no links to popular clients, no legal trackers. No nothing. I mean, come on.
The best way to promote BT would be to set up trackers -- excuse me, "Web sites" -- that actually maintain useful, legal content and direct new users to them. Right now, most BT servers have all the class and permanency of off-shore casinos, and because of that, once you install a BT client, you... What? The standard BitTorrent client advises you to, "Find a BitTorrent Web site and click the appropriate links." Hey, thanks.
Where is the BitTorrent version of umich.edu? Every FTP client in the world comes with a list of public-domain download sites, so that after you install the software, you can actually use the software. Nobody does that for BitTorrent because all the useful sites are illegal. Surpnova isn't included as a suggested starting point for the same reason that guns don't come with robbery instructions: Everybody knows that's what they're used for, but you can't just say it.
The BitTorrent community needs to put in the good faith effort to pretend that BT is useful for something other than piracy. At least run one server that will interest the general population (and therefore doesn't consist entirely of Debian distributions or Phish bootlegs) and won't make Jack Valenti foam at the mouth. Just one. Keep it well-maintained, well-known, well-referenced and legal. Make it a starting point for curious newbies, with hand-holding and links to good clients and rounded-off, child-safe corners. You can fake it that much, guys. Even the mob has legitimate fronts.
Don't get me wrong. Even considering all the above, BitTorrent is wonderful technology that accomplishes something that is badly needed. But the guts of any project are exactly that, the guts: they're ugly to look at, hard to put to use without an interface and not the sort of thing you drag out in polite company. Just like Napster put a pretty face on MP3s (and paved the way for the legal iTunes), the BitTorrent community needs to pull its collective head out of its socket and realize that real people want to accomplish real things with their little toy. And that can't happen until they stop playing with it, hose it off and put a pretty pink ribbon around its neck, so it's not so scary.
Get to it.
^ that's the flame from my lighter up there.
Preach on, brother.
Posted on August 11, 2004 12:45 PM
If you would have used this in the first place...
Posted on August 11, 2004 2:27 PM
while I agree it would be good to simplify things, where will it end? How long can technology coddle users without introducing new terms? Server represents a client-server relationship, and that isn't what BT is, its a P2P technology. The reason you don't want to integrate it into Mozilla is because it is reliant on downloaders to also upload. If people just closed their BT client after only uploading 1% of what they downloaded they would be effectively destroying the advantage it has. You give while you take.
Posted on August 11, 2004 2:58 PM
Here's my problem. The .torrent files. Why?? What's wrong with a simple URL that fetches the bit of data that's in the torrent file directly by the client.
I don't know... download a file to fetch another file. Seems like a step itching to be eliminated. Gotta be a better way.
Perhaps a 'torrent:' protocol for BT links? That would launch the client and begin the download. Imagine that!
Posted on August 11, 2004 3:31 PM
I don't think it's fair to call BitTorrent's developers "smug, lazy elitists". The underlying technology of BitTorrent is well designed and the code is solid. If the developers truely were smug lazy and elitist, you would have more to complain about than a 10 minute learning curve.
Posted on August 11, 2004 3:48 PM
To Brad Choate:
.torrent files are needed because of the fairly large amount of information which they contain. It's not hundreds of KB of data, but for large files its often 10's of KB. This is because the .torrent contains a whole bunch of hashes of various bits of the file so you can verify exactly what youve downloaded is what you wanted.
A torrent:// protocol would probably be a fairly user friendly solution to that problem.
While BT is not entirely client-server it does contain aspects of that system. There is of course a Bitorrent client, which inititally communicates with a Tracker, or server before it starts talking to clients. So there certainly is a reliance of the client-server architecture built into BT. It's not unreasonble to call a tracker a server, because frankly, it is one.
Mozilla integration is a perfectly feasible task. Yes BT is reliant on client upload. If you hadn't noticed, in Firefox at least, the download window is perfectly happy being open on its own without any other browser windows. Additionally, firefox has a memory resident mode (iirc) during which it basically runs with no windows open. Is it not possible that this mode could be used whilst BT's Up/Down ratio was not at 100%? Furthermore, it seems fairly reasonble to track the up/down ratio across browser sessions, and with the aid of a temporary .torrent cache, continue to upload data once the browser is opened again later until the ratio hits 100%.
Az is good it's true. Initital setup might be a bit scary to new users though. Some of the more advanced features should be hidden by default to protect the common user.
Posted on August 11, 2004 4:20 PM
blee: Sure, Azureus solves all the problems I mentioned, except: the complexity of the client, the reliance on lingo and the cultural issue of BitTorrent's reputation. It exchanges the difficulty of setting up a tracker for the smaller difficulty of managing DynDNS. Fun! Thanks!
smllpx: Boy, yeah, can't keep coddling those techo-slackers. Like, say, with keyboards and monitors and high-level languages and modems and everything else we rely on because someone who came before us made the hard stuff simple.
nomad: If the BT development community had any interest in expanding the usage of the technology, they would have solved the usability problems -- or, heck, _attempted_ to solve the usability problems -- a long time ago. The implicit dismissal of those who don't know Deep Geek is both smug, lazy and elite.
Posted on August 11, 2004 4:26 PM
waaah waah waaah.
you want to be spoonfed?
stick with kazaa.
you want to use a new technology?
do a little research.
the default client is a little weak, so i'll give you a hint:
now it's up to you to *find it* and learn how to use it.
the internet is not television. you need to do a little hunting.
Posted on August 11, 2004 5:58 PM
Tomato Torrent (http://sarwat.net/bittorrent/) is a fantastically simple, solid BT client.
Posted on August 11, 2004 6:47 PM
I don't find the Azureus client any more complex than Kazaa. Maybe you didn't stick with it long as long as you did with Kazaa (or some other filesharing client which you feel compares favorably).
As for "hiding the complexity" and "users just want a progress bar" -- have you even seen the original BT client? It's very simple, little more than a progress bar, and greatly resembles the progress dialog a browser puts up for a download (which is more-or-less what you're complaining it *doesn't* do).
I really don't understand the supposed difficulty with the torrent files (posted by another commenter). What's so hard about clicking on the link and choosing "open with associated program"? We do this with PDF files, DOC files, video files, etc...torrent files work exactly the same way.
Complaining that a tracker is hard to set up is absurd in the context of an article meant to demonstrate that BT is difficult for the average user. That's like saying the World Wide Web is hard for the average user because most people wouldn't be able to set up a web server. None of the complexity of trackers prevents people from *using* BT, only from sharing their own files on it -- which is exactly the same with the web.
So pirates love BT? They love Kazaa, too. And USENET. And IRC. And, for that matter, the web itself. Depending on who you ask, all of these things have reputations as havens for pirates, smut-dealers and other immoral people. Presumably, that doesn't stop you from using them -- rather, you use them in an ethical way and avoid or overlook the people who don't.
It's no different with BT; even on Suprnova at any given time there are hundreds of perfectly legal downloads, and you are free to use them without anyone trying to shove the illegal ones down your throat. But if you feel there aren't enough legal downloads for BT, the solution is to provide more, not complain that there aren't any.
Posted on August 11, 2004 7:00 PM
hallucinati: Golly, you're right! The Internet isn't TV. TV is easy to use and financially successful.
Dave: Yeah, serving content on the Web is hard work. Or it was before Blogger and Moveable Type and LiveJournal and a dozen others. Now there are millions -- tens of millions -- of people serving content every day. Why can't maintaing a BT tracker be that simple? You smug, lazy elitist. And I'm not saying that Suprnova doesn't have legal files, I'm saying...
Oh, Jesus. What's the use? I have never seen a group of people more dedicated to missing the point. So here it is, slowly:
The entire BitTorrent user experience is awful. Clients are complex, torrents are hard to find, running a tracker is well-nigh impossible. Is any of that false? You can argue that none of it needs to be fixed, but you'd be wrong, you idiot.
Forget for a moment that you're a Geek God and you want to try BitTorrent. What is it? How does it work? How do you get it? Where can you download stuff with it? How can you run a server? None of these perfectly legtimate questions have sensible, human-friedly answers right now.
If you can't see that, well then, congratulations. You're part of the problem. Please go away.
Posted on August 11, 2004 8:55 PM
Another thing that I have very big complaints about is "Drivers Licences". Come on. You have to get some paper to drive a car? That seems unreasonable to me. And to get that paper you have to lots of stuff. This shows that cars manufacturers are dumb and elitist, and they should clean their braces. If it's that hard to drive a car, they have to make it simpler. Having to change the speed all the time, using two (!) pedals. (Get this: there really are two pedals, instead of just one to control speed). And at the same time you have to keep making the car turn left and right because theey were to stupid to build straight roads that get me from A to B. How stupid is that. There's seriously something wrong with this country. Had those had any brains they would have made a simple interface - I tell the car where I want to go, and it takes me there. As a free amrican I demand, that this madness stop, and somebody make it easy to get from A to B fast. What about the mentally challenged? What about people that have actual work to do? We can't be bothered to learn hundreds of street signs, buttons, beaviour etc.
Simplify it, stupid!
Posted on August 12, 2004 1:14 AM
I cant tell if your actually with or against pony. Because thats exactly what cars are being designed to do in the future. To drive them selves. They have already done it. However there are many reasons, some psychological and some to do with personal safety that it isnt that great an idea. To find out why cars that drive themselves are almost universally a bad idea, do some research. Is this however, your point? I really have no idea. Your analogy is so ignorant of reality that its totally useless as an example. Do you seriously mean that BT should be complex as to make downloading files more fun and dangerous? Because thats what it means if you know anything at all about automated cars. It gets even worse when you start thinking about busses and chauffers and so on!
Downloading is about as different to transport as you can get. People want some data from one place, to go to another place, usually where they are now. Does it really seem that anything more is required than an identifier for the thing they want? A link perhaps? A link which perhaps they can click on, signalling that they would like that file. And then it downloads, perhaps with a progress bar, just to let them know how long they have to wait before they have the file. Even that isnt strictly needed if you have a decent ETA counter.
Computer systems can be made VERY simply. Because they are specialised. Real world things often can't be made so simply, because they arent specialised, cars are not specialised, the real world is not simple.
You are an idiot.
Posted on August 12, 2004 3:38 AM
Why don't you put your money where your "blog" is; making up dumb problems to solve -- that's the *geek* way. -YT
Posted on August 12, 2004 4:51 AM
First of all thanks, Alex, that you're letting me voice my opinion. :)
My Analogy may have been "limited", but that's as far as analogy goes. You're are right that in order to make a case, I shell put forth my arguments to stand on their own. So let me clarify the motivation of my comment.
You're complaining about BitTorrent, that it is not the way you want it to be. And go on to describe something totally else, which has very little in common with BitTorrent - well, except for tranfering big-files.
All you are doing is complaining how bad everything is, without offering actual possibilities on how to improve it. Other than saying: "Nobody should be forced to learn anything". Well, just as with driving a car, using the internet, or anything else that is wortwhile doing, there will always be a learning curve.
Can it be made easier? Yes, however ranting and complaining is not going to help, instead it will only anger those working on it, if they bother about it at all, that is.
There are people working and offering things for free - why should they listen to whiny people that can't grasp how to get it to work. What do they get out of it (except for more whiny people)?
If you don't like it, don't use it. If you want to help people actually make it better, than do something producitve about it, rather than bad-mouthing everything.
What you should really learn, though, is that if other people have different ideas or tastes about what is right than you - it doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong.
Hiding the complexity will produce many uneducated users. Uneducated users will have a negative effet on the BT-user-community in the long run. Most people have asymmetric lines, if people don't know the background, they will leech BT to death.
If they don't know about limiting their upload-stream, their whole connection will become unusable.
If you don't know the difference about seeds and leechers, you don't how important it may be to keep this or that torrent open.
BT works well because there are a lot of people using the same torrent. If you make it dead-simple to create torrents, you'll have 50 people offering 50 dofferent torrents of the same videotaped-event, which will massively reduce the usability.
And I could go on and on.
Also BT is not part of the "web", it's part of the internet. Torrents can be distributed in a multitude of different ways, which is a feature. Don't try to integrate it into the browser, please.
Posted on August 12, 2004 5:03 AM
The original BT client is very simple to use. All the variables that are out in the open in other clients have been tuned to perfection on the original by the creator of BT, Bram Cohen. It doesn't use much geekspeak either.
Running a BT server is no more complex than running an Apache server. The chief complexity is adding the MIME-type to the server, which is what happens whenever you introduce a new data type to the wider world. Granted, a wizard for non-hackers would be nice.
As Bram will tell you himself (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=71538&cid=6468001), BT is particularly ill-suited for the distribution of illegal files, since it has zero anonymity, zero decentralization, and zero transport encryption. By using BT you give your IP address to lots and lots of other BT users who are downloading the same file. It's worse at anonymity than most P2P programs.
Posted on August 12, 2004 5:22 AM
"All you are doing is complaining how bad everything is, without offering actual possibilities on how to improve it. Other than saying: “Nobody should be forced to learn anything”."
1) That nobody should be forced to learn anything is not the point being made. The point being made is that the barrier to entry to using BT is higher than it needs to be.
2) I fail to see how the criticisms made of BT in this post are not contributing to it. It needs to be admitted that the the BT user experience is more complex than it needs to be for a large part of its use. Developers must be made aware of their programs failings and that is what is happening here.
"What you should really learn, though, is that if other people have different ideas or tastes about what is right than you - it doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong."
This is complete bollocks. I am fully aware that other people have differnt ideas to me. Merely because it is someones opinion does not mean I should not be able to criticise it. You are guilty of the very arrogance you accuse me of by denying that a simplified client could be useful to its users or BT its self.
"There are people working and offering things for free - why should they listen to whiny people that can’t grasp how to get it to work."
Because if they do not respond to market demand they will always be working on it for free, it will not gain commercial acceptance and it will be doomed to become yet another source for stolen information. The internet could benefit hugely from the mass adoptance of a technology such as BT, and is it shortsighted of developers to deny this.
"Uneducated users will have a negative effet on the BT-user-community in the long run."
If a user is so stupid then clearly their client can be forced to continue to upload. Making it impossible for them to be a leecher without changing their client. Which if they desired to do so much they would most likely be a leecher by nature which would not be prevented by giving them access to more complex and configurable clients.
Which brings me to configurability. Why do BT clients need to be so highly configurable? Dynamic rate adapation algorithms exist. Implement them so that the user does not need to know about rate limiting. Force users to continue to upload whilst the program is open until a torrent hits 100% at least. Why should a client allow a user to leech if it is so bad for the network?
Users can be educated about seeds and leechers, but this information does not need to be displayed. They do not need to know about choking and interested and all the various status flags. The information should be there so that they can learn why they are made to upload data if they so desire.
"If you make it dead-simple to create torrents, you’ll have 50 people offering 50 different torrents of the same videotaped-event"
This problem exists currently anyway. However due to informal peer review of content, and it being part of BTs very nature that the most trafficed sites will also be the fastest, it is unlikely to become a large problem. People will visit the most popular trackers, because they will be the best. Personal trackers will certainly spring up, but they will be of limited use. BT requires a significant number of users on a single tracker to be useful. And this will happen on its own.
"Torrents can be distributed in a multitude of different ways, which is a feature. Don’t try to integrate it into the browser, please."
So regardles of the fact that the chief method of .torrent distribution is through HTTP you believe that a browser integrated BT client is a bad idea? Why? Anyway hasn't it occoured to you that browsers commonly support a whole range of different protocols?
BT requires more than just an HTTP server as this http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/protocol.html page details.
Besides the fact that BT has 0 anoninimity in the protocol this has not prevented it becoming a major method of distributing stolen information. This is the problem.
What BT needs to become widely accpeted is to lower the barrier of entry. By this I mean what Ponyboy said originally. It needs evangelism, it needs a general website which introduces people to it, gives them some links to legal BT sites and also gives then a very basic install and forget client which preferably integrates into their browser.
BT does not suck in its current state. It will just never become mainstream and fulfill its potential.
Why are people opposed to lowering the barrier to entry?
Posted on August 12, 2004 7:19 AM
The official bittorrent client at bitconjurer.org addresses all of your complaints about the client. Had you even tried it before you wrote this essay?
Posted on August 12, 2004 9:37 AM
There's a lazyweb request here to tightly integrate BT into Firefox as an extension.
It's probably lots of work and way beyond my skills. But this is the approach to use. BT is great tech that should just fade into the background. There's absolutely *zero* reason for the user to understand the detail. Any more than they need to understand what's happening when they view an FTP directory in a browser.
At the server end, it could be made easier, but I'd be quite happy if BT was asymmetrical. It's probably a good thing that running a tracker is slightly harder than uploading files to hosted webspace.
Posted on August 12, 2004 12:27 PM
Blogger, Movable Type and LiveJournal are run by people who do the hard parts for you *because they make money doing it*. In other words, the average users are leveraging the abilities of the "geek gods" to do something they wouldn't be able to do on their own.
Again, BitTorrent is no different, or at least it doesn't have to be. If anyone wants to pay me to set up a tracker and share their files with it, I'll give them one of the easiest web forms they've ever used -- certainly easier than the form for making a post in MT. I'm sure many others, who like me have found it's *not really that hard*, would be willing to make the same offer.
But, since you would rather resort to namecalling than respond to my other points, I shouldn't really bother. I'll just take your advice and go away...
Posted on August 12, 2004 2:03 PM
I'm kind of a bit confused by this. I mean - this is a guy's project that a community of other guys have decided to get involved with as well. There's no *obligation* here for them to make something less confusing and more user friendly than BitTorrent has been - other than that they might like to do so and that it might afford them benefits if they did. I mean I might as well argue that if you wanted to do a proper weblog you'd write what people wanted you to write and nothing but, courting public opinion and traffic at all costs, rather than doing what you found interesting and which afforded you a standard of living that you could cope with. Kind of don't understand this discussion really.
In terms of BitTorrent's usability, vocabulary and learning curve - yeah I'm with you - it's not great by any means and I think it could be improved by getting some product and UI designers on the case to figure out the best way of hiding complexity from its users. I think there's a strong case for saying that if someone did that stuff they'd benefit from the kudos and interest it would generate. But then again, in terms of articulating this better model, with screenshots (say) or detailed descriptions of behaviour - you're probably in as good or better a class as any to propose some models here. As indeed am I. I mean we haven't got unlimited time, of course, but then again I'm fairly sure that the developers don't either. I guess I can't see the distinction between the developer's crime/responsibility/choice at not making BitTorrent it a more user friendly experience and our crimes/responsibilities/choices as designers in not showing them how that could be done.
Posted on August 12, 2004 11:08 PM
I am amazed at the number of idiotic comments here. Why are you all acting so insulted by this? It's incredibly incisive and accurate. It tells you everything that's wrong with bitTorrent, tells you what to do to fix it and even that you could be making money from it.
So why, why why why, for God's sake, are you sitting here complaining when you could be out there doing something useful, worthwhile, and potentially profitable?
Go on. Dare you.
Posted on August 13, 2004 7:09 AM
The reason people are insulted is because the author of the above blog entry seems to be making the error of criticising a technology he knows absolutely nothing about. Anybody who spends more than about 5 minutes reading information found with a search engine will be able to learn everything they need to know about the technology. People who can't even be bothered to do that don't really deserve to be using it. (Natural selection, baby!)
Posted on August 13, 2004 7:21 AM
wow...this is the first time I have ever heard someone *not* like bittorrent.
if AOL yoosers cant figure it out, all the better.
warez hurts people. it (until recently) has always been something you had to 'learn' about before you could 'get in'. the fewer cloobies that use it the better...if you dont know how to use google, or look at a README, then you dont deserve to warez.
Posted on August 13, 2004 5:26 PM
too much of this is more what you figure as a good guess or at least good enough to sound good, than anything you actually figured out. like, the programmer and his g/f are eleventybillion times better looking than anyone you know. it's safe to assume, so why not write it?
Posted on August 14, 2004 2:08 AM
Hmmm.... this doesn't sound like the bittorrent I know.
I started using BT very soon after its release.
I heard that an anime episode was available on "bittorrent" so:
1. I went to the Bittorrent website, download the 1MB setup file, and installed it.
2. I clicked on a url of the file I want, and the file downloads onto my computer!
I really don't see how to make this simpler... Step one could be eliminated by building BT into the web browser. Microsoft IE has 95% of the web user base, and I don't see them doing that.
The only additional information in the download window is the number of people serving the file, and the number of people getting the file. Both of these are important numbers.
If someone can't figure out how to set up a tracker, they most likely don't have anything worthewhile to contribute anyway.(or bittorrent isn't the best for the distribution of the file)
BT has more legal use than any other P2P program.
Posted on August 14, 2004 11:27 PM
The idiocy of this post is incredible. Try the ABC bit torrent client:
See the screen shot there? It is clean and simple, maybe even a misinformed cretin like you will be able to use it
Posted on August 15, 2004 3:46 AM
Shit. Sorry for being so harsh. You're right about everything. I love you.
Posted on August 15, 2004 10:28 PM
I usually don't like to criticize people, but most of you sound like morons.
Ponyboy criticizes the uselessness of the BT clients. I agree. However, he fails to notice that the most easy to use client (which is what he seems to be searching for) could have been found by simply going to google and typing in bittorrent. I cannot stress how simple the original BT client is: download, install, and you are good to go. Click on a torrent link, and IE automatically passes it to BT. Thats it. You need know nothing else. I shit you not.
Second. The lingo is annoying. True. But if you are the average user, just trying to download something, just click a fu**ing link.
Third. The server is difficult to use, but most people, the so called "average" people dont want to set up a server. They can just post a torrent link to any of the many available sites.
Fourth. Seeding. Yeah, its difficult. I give you that. So i guess most people may not be able to post a torrent to one of those available servers.
Fifth. Piracy. Sh*t happens. With any great technology there will be piracy. And if you want to find links, look go back to google, type in bittorrent. click the link. click faq. you might find two links there. you can click either (heres a hint for the more impressive link: it ryhmes with smiley. sh*t, it is smiley.)
now please, dont get me wrong. BT has some things wrong with it. but put in five minutes of your time, and take a fu*cking look into it and you will find most things a fairly simple. (again, google might help). oh, and please, next time, before you write an opinion piece, do a little more research, because, yes, opinions can be wrong.
Posted on August 16, 2004 4:38 PM
By the way. If you clicked the link on my name, you would notice it takes you to the BT site. I am not affiliated with them. I am just some guy who missed an episode of Alias and had no luck finding it at all, til I discovered something called Bittorrent. Very useful and easy to use, even for a non geek such as my self. I just thought since so many of you have trouble finding the link to the site, I would make it easier to find.
Posted on August 16, 2004 4:56 PM
Look, its very simple. Ponyboy would like to see BT become more mainstream. Maintream as in used by the media and other large corporations so that they can distribute large amounts of content that it would otherwise be very costly for them to do.
This is all.
He just wants some BT evangelism. Some minor polishing and so forth to aid this goal.
This isn't merely about ease of use. Joe the sports goon doesn't care about BT clients. He wants to download the latest weird Olympics event or something. But alas, none of the media companies can afford to publish every Olympic recording online for free. And obviously dont have the air time to broadcast all the events. P2P is clearly one very simple solution to such a problem. And BT seems rather well suited to it dont you think?
This is what Ponyboy (and I'm sure many others) would like to see.
Posted on August 16, 2004 4:57 PM
Thanks for the explanation Alex. I guess my comments were written in a bit of a rush. However, I do hope that I was able to address a lot of the problems that Ponyboy experienced, and showed solutions for them.
Posted on August 17, 2004 9:00 AM
If someone can't learn something on their own and have to be walked through some of the simplest programs out there, then there is a problem and they shouldn't use it. I mean, MiB, is that really hard to figure out? Most clients use MB or Mb anyways.
That is my tutorial on it, and explains quite a bit. I learned it all on my own, as most others have, a little ingenuity goes a long way.
If people are so lazy they don't want to learn one or two terms and click a few buttons, fuck them. It isn't too difficult, and is much much more efficient to get things, both on the server (I hope someone here knows what that is) and the downloader. Plus, if the writer used google, it would be easy to find a bevy of sites that cater to every interest.
Uh-oh, overuse of 3 whole brain cells!
Posted on August 22, 2004 2:04 PM
I am amazed at all this fuss. Bittorent is not perfect but it is easy to install and use. Yes there coul be improvements made and i'm sure they will be made in time. You complain about the lingo and stuff. It's not that complicated and in some cases it actually leads people to do a bit more research and gain a lot of knowledge about the technology they are using which can only be a good thing. Finally, you go on about geeks lik ethey are the lowest of the low. We owe a lot to those geeks you seem to enjoy putting down so much. If not for a couple of geeks i might not be typing this right now. And hey, for you to have taken your time to lokk into this (briefly as it would seem) and write this up there must be a little some geek in you somewhere. There's definately a little geek in everyone that has dropped an opinion here. I appreciate your write up and your opinion but i'd advice you to go back and look again.
Posted on August 22, 2004 7:04 PM
When considering the possibilities with Bittorrent. Broadcatching for one there individuals or a small group can run a online newschannel with videocontent at a budget one could only dream about for a couple of years ago. For this to be possible a wider acceptance of bittorrent is neccessary, people need to be able to set upp a tracker without all the hazzle and a nice client with a clean easy interface for the public. And the legal uses has to be put forward to avoid that bittorrent for ever is connected with hackers and underground membership-trackers only serving warez and other illegal files in the publics mind.
I'm from sweden and may have been using a poor spelling but i hope i got my opinion trough.
Posted on August 25, 2004 10:49 AM
Bittorents is horrible. It's disgustingly slow, and its the same p2p garbage like kazaa and napster. p2p is disgusting. BT is slower than any file sharing network ive seen in my life. The only way to go to get the stuff u want and in reasonable time is to go on IRC...or go on newsgroup servers. Newsgroup servers are amazing and takes full advantage of a broadband connection to the internet. It's like... "why am I only downloading at 5k/s when there's 100 seeds?" Only one thing to say about BT technology. complete bullshit. shut it down.
Posted on August 25, 2004 4:01 PM
Your arguments are interesting, but in order for a more "warm and fuzzy" BT to emerge, esp on that is financially motivated, some corp will need to figure out a way to make money using the tech.
Heck, there have been so many ways to transfer files over the net. Some like FTP adapt easy to the web world. Most sit outside of it. USENET for file distribution IS a great way to distribute files. If your ISP maintains a good newsfeed and retains posts, and you can find a good USENET client and learn the terminology. But where is the variety? Problem is ISPs have limitations, and if the public started to use USENET at the same rate that they used other tech, it would very quickly die. Retention rates would plumit, D/L speed would drop, and hosts would become a quick political target of the anti-piracy movement.
The beauty of BT in many ways is the adventure of finding the content. Torrents come and go, trackers come and go. Despite all of the insecurities of BT, it is the portability, and the constant flux which keeps it viable growing force.
Posted on August 26, 2004 1:55 PM
Ponyboy, you must not be as dumb as you sound. Had you spent twice as much time as you did trying to figure it out (five more minutes?) you could have had firm grasp of BT and understood the technological breakthrough it really is.
The are countless clients. Surely there must be one you can figure out. The "average user" does not need to set up a tracker. There are numerous trackers already out there that are being regularly maintained. And, do you want to see commercial acceptance of the technology. A group set out to show a prime example of where BT can really shine. http://www.sp2torrent.com/ They put XP SP2 up as a torrent. A large popular file ready for mass distrubution. Imagine the bandwidth MS could save. But no, what do they do? They make them take it down.
Point is, if I really have a point, BT is great. Anyone with half a brain can use it. It is the wave of the future. Watch out!
Posted on August 29, 2004 10:22 PM
PonyBoy, to save you from further embarassment... I have 2 pieces of advice to hand on to you...
1) READ idolcrash's great tutorial
and just to be sure everything's covered...
Posted on August 30, 2004 9:46 AM
Gentlemen, BEHOLD! I am the individual over whom you debate. I have been trying for some time now to use bitorrent to no avail. while I have no problem "working for it", and have spent many attempts at googling this stuff, I believe the initial point was well made. If nothing else, I'm not really sure what I'm looking for, much less how to use it. everything I DL just gives me another blank screen asking me to type in a url... where do I find these mysterious urls? I have heard much of the glory of BT, but I have yet to see it with my own eyes.
Posted on August 30, 2004 3:54 PM
WhiteWolf, Googling "torrent sites" yielded the following...
more than you could ever possibly get to...
Posted on August 30, 2004 6:08 PM
Vanquishor, I am in your debt. For whatever obnoxious quirky reason, I never found working clients before, much less new what they were. all the other links I went to from searching, other posters and my friends just gave me stuff like ABC, and while it is necessary, never got me to the final goal. spread that site far and wide, because even *I* understand http://www.btsites.tk/
Posted on August 31, 2004 8:11 AM
Use Azureus 0_o
Posted on August 31, 2004 9:04 AM
LoL DragMan, GOOD CALL, watch out Willigan may be back tho ;)
Your Welcome WhiteWolf, and do a search on "Demonoid" while you're at it, am sure we can get you underway!
Posted on August 31, 2004 9:48 AM
is a start, just wait a few more months for the community to further diversify
Posted on September 1, 2004 3:52 AM
your dumbdumb doo doo head
Posted on September 1, 2004 12:07 PM
I've got a mock-up for a BitTorrent client that solves a lot of the problems you brought up.
Posted on September 5, 2004 9:11 AM
I had no clue what bittorrent was, and i was a computer noob. I learned with a little common sense in under 5 minutes
Posted on September 7, 2004 11:03 AM
If you want something with "Just a progress bar", get BitTornado, it has JUST a progress bar visible (and you download speed), and THATS IT, EVERYTHING else is hidden, you can (if you want), view the rest of the shit, but it IS hidden. Btw, I think that anyone too stupid to spend fifteen minutes to an hour to learn how BitTorrent works, learn six new words (Oooo, so HARD to learn six words, come on u idiot, even apes can remember SIX WORDS), and pull your head out of your ass and get some help via an IRC channel, then they should stick to Kazaa, and enjoy trying to download their movies via that, whilst getting tons of fake or corrupt or low quality files at SLOW speeds. Anyone too stupid to learn the particular "complexities and nuances" of BitTorrent can go F(_)CK a goat!
-I have spoken......
Posted on September 22, 2004 11:13 PM
Ok so I didn't bother reading all of the comments because it got very repetative and "flamer" (hows that for geek lingo?).
But hows this for a thought? How long has the internet been around? Has it always been easy to use? Is there one central source for how to use the internet? How long did it take for those thousands of websites to develope easy ways for average or even below average users to display a website?
How long has BitTorrent been around? Is amazingly easy to use yet? Is there one central source for it anymore? Are people finding ways to make it easier and more user friendly?
I personally believe that the original post was not well researched. I hope that the author has learned alot (even if information was offered for the soul purpose of proving him wrong).
Posted on September 28, 2004 10:43 PM
Today's New York Times, here:
Gives in passing a plug to SuprNova:
"According to SuprNova.org, which tracks usage of the Bit Torrent file-sharing protocol, the [Jon Stewart 'Crossfire'] segment is currently being offered for download by more than 1,100 different sources."
----> Oh_my_lord_ what a pile of dreck SuprNova is. I had AdAware up and running -- if I hadn't, I expect from the mess SuprNova DID make of my [office stupid IE] screen that I'd be infested with crapware.
---> Someone REALLY, REALLY SHOULD get better info out about BitTorrent. I'd used it only to get, and distribute, copies of that Jon Stewart clip and of the movie Going Upriver -- first and only uses of BitTorrent, using OSX.
I had no idea at all how much of the dreck side was available and attached to BitTorrent til I made the mistake of looking at SuprNova.
The NYT has guaranteed a BAD first impression of BitTorrent to anyone who reads that NYT article and follows the pointer to SuprNova.
Posted on October 20, 2004 1:16 PM
Hey buddy, you must be a total dumbass if you cant figure out bittorrent. Bittorrent has to be one of the simplest programs ive ever seen. Here, let me teach you! Find a program you want, download the torrent for it, and voila you are downloading! HOLY JESUS THAT WAS HARD WASNT IT?
Posted on October 23, 2004 2:33 PM
Wow... you must be slow... you download any one of many clients, designed for all types of users, from point ant click web idiots to true internet users who do not think the 'web' and 'net' are the same thing. :p Stick to downloading whatever your AOL popups tell you is cool and leave the real file sharing where it belongs, in the hands of the people who are smart enough to keep themselves apart from what is wrong with the internet instead of hopping on board the sinking ship and hiding like all of the other now failed old creative technologies have done... boiling down into the crap that you seem to enjoy having spoon fed to you... if you think that is what all internet users want, you are wrong, I am very happy to say.
Posted on October 27, 2004 5:36 PM
Sounds very useful to me.
Posted on October 31, 2004 5:38 PM
Torrent is great but i prefer emule and edonkey.
Posted on November 14, 2004 1:07 PM
Posted on November 14, 2004 1:09 PM
Dude are you not that smart? It's not that hard to use Bit Torrent. If you can't figure it out you shouldn't be on it. I'm glad people like you can't figure it out. When a bunch of stupid people get on Bit Torrent it's going to suck ass like Kazaa sucks ass now. So please never learn how to use the very simple Bit Torrent.
Posted on November 16, 2004 6:05 PM
Look its as simple as anything else if your interested, do some f#cking research You never automatically just now how things work until you do a tiny bit of work jesus type it into google and youll be an expert in 5 mins h#ll read this simple 25 post forum and your a freakin expert !!!! unfortunately the world is full of idiots im reminded every day
Posted on November 21, 2004 4:07 PM
Posted on November 23, 2004 5:08 AM
Posted on November 23, 2004 5:09 AM
I use bittorrent all the time the idea is great but i think its time for a revamp.
Posted on November 29, 2004 6:05 PM
I think that http://www.torrentreactor.net is the best torrent site!
Posted on September 21, 2005 4:10 AM
u are a fucking idiot nothings wrong with bittorrent if you are too stupid to use it do some research and that will tell you how to its great for large files and movies much better than limewire which is full of viruses and spyware and slows ur computer down to shit
Posted on June 15, 2006 5:49 PM